Fundus autofluorescence imaging findings in retinal pigment epithelial tear

Eur J Ophthalmol. 2006 Sep-Oct;16(5):767-9. doi: 10.1177/112067210601600520.


Purpose: Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) tear is a clinical and angiographic entity, which usually occurs in association with pigment epithelial detachments (PED), in the context of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). The recording of fundus autofluorescence (FAF) has been introduced as a technique of retinal imaging, allowing the in vivo assessment of the integrity of RPE. The authors describe the FAF imaging findings in a patient with RPE tear.

Methods: Observational case report.

Results: A 70-year-old woman developed RPE tear after the application of photodynamic therapy for choroidal neovascularization associated with PED. The diagnosis of the RPE tear was confirmed by fluorescein angiography (FA) and indocyanine green angiography (ICGA). FAF imaging revealed absence of autofluorescence at the area which was denuded of RPE, while at the area where the RPE was rolled, a heterogeneous signal of FAF was recorded. The intensity of the signal in that area was, on average, not different from the normal background FAF signal expected in an unaffected RPE/photoreceptor complex.

Conclusions: The authors report the FAF imaging findings in a patient with RPE tear. These findings can be interpreted from the ability of FAF imaging to access in vivo the integrity of RPE, and correlate well with the histopathology of this clinical entity. FAF imaging, as a fast and noninvasive technique, may be a useful modality, alternative to FA and ICGA, in the diagnosis and evaluation of such cases. Moreover, it may contribute to a more detailed phenotyping of the various clinical pictures associated with neovascular ARMD.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography*
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / pathology*
  • Retinal Perforations / diagnosis*